Saint of the Day

June 16: Saint Benno of Meissen

Saint Benno was a priest and a canon when he was made bishop of Meissen, Germany, in the year 1066.

Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV was involved in a bitter dispute with the pope because Henry demanded the right to choose the men serving as bishops in his dominions, giving the king greater money and power. Pope Gregory disagreed with him, and late eleventh century history is full of battles, interdicts, and anti-popes as a result of the conflict between the two men. The pope ultimately won, but Benno was deposed at one point because he sided with the pope. Later, Benno was reinstated as bishop, but only by compromising with an anti-pope. Benno subsequently returned to the side of the true pope, Urban II, at this point.

Later legends about Benno state that he was a diligent shepherd of his flock and a lover of music. When his canonization process was completed in 1523, it was vigorously opposed by another German leader, Martin Luther.

Saint Benno, help me to remain faithful to the Church.